New Harborough scheme uses man’s best friend to tackle loneliness

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A project which aims to get lonely older people with befrienders who visit them at home is now getting man’s best friend involved!

VASL’s Community Champions project work across the Harborough district matching lonely older people with befrienders that visit them at home, call, write to them or provide digital support.

They have now added another string to their bow – community dog walks.

Community Champion Worker Sam Gisborne said: “We all know that fresh air, light exercise and enjoyable activities enhance our general health; and the benefits of having an animal in your life are also very well documented.”

“As we have a number of volunteers and clients on the project who are dog owners, we thought it was a great idea to get them together for an afternoon out.

“So on a beautifully sunny autumnal day just as the leaves were turning, a group of us met with our dogs to walk around Welland Park.

“We took a relaxed stroll along the river, turning to let the dogs off in the dog walking area provided, before making our way back to the Welland Park café for tea.”

“We are now looking forward to meeting again and inviting more of the Community Champions community to join us.“

If you want to know about Community Champions, either phone 01858 439262 or email champions@vasl.org.uk.